Oceanside, California…..”New Year is a very special holiday to Californians!”  Bob & Sheila Everhart, Anita, Iowa residents on their hiatus near the beach in Oceanside, along with their daughter Bobbie Lhea, saw the new year in by watching various celebrations on television.  “We kind of stayed close to home,” Bob added, “mostly because Californians can over-celebrate pretty easily.  All of the transportation systems, bus, rail, even AmTrak had ‘free’ rides New Year’s Eve, to prevent drunks driving on the roads.  And, we heard some young surfers talking, day before, about what they were going to do, and it all centered around how ‘drunk’ they could get.  So, we just stayed close to the RV and enjoyed our own private celebration.  As many of you know, Sheila is an excellent cook, so we had some delicious pasta with Italian sausage and red wine.  Bobbie Lhea even had an apple-pear cider to drink with us, while we made our toasts and our resolutions. All of ours are about the same, lose a little weight, especially after eating Sheila’s good food.”
     “New Year is also a time of reflection,” Bob added.  “I could probably do a kind of top-ten like David Letterman does, but in my rambling thoughts, I was reflecting on what has happened to the brilliancy of America, and Americans?  Like, WHY do we not have a cure for cancer?  Where is our brilliant doctors?  Well, maybe it’s because cancer is such a huge money maker.  Medicine, treatments, doctors fees, hospital fees, insurance fees, wow, it sure adds up, doesn’t it?  Then I got to thinking, WHY do we still have the internal combustion engine?  You mean to tell me there is absolutely nothing that can take its place?  Where are all our brilliant inventors?  Oh yes, well maybe it’s because the oil industry is such a great money maker.  They can push gas prices up to six dollars a gallon, so why on earth would there be a replacement for the internal combustion engine?  And the automotive industry is right in stride.  Why would they want to re-tool for something that could put the internal combustion engine in the junk pile.  And then I thought, what about transportation?  We’re still riding the same crowded airplanes, old as they are getting, smaller and smaller space and harder and harder to use.  Well, I suppose it all adds up to more and larger profits that way than it is trying to make your customer comfortable.  And the economy?  Well, we’ll wait and see what January 3 offers us as a ‘fixer-upper’ in Iowa.  In California, which is pretty much a liberal state, those that are conservative don’t see anything in the GOP line-up that can beat Obama.  Well, yes, where is all the brilliance in America?  So far in debt we can’t see over the top of it, and nothing very likable on the horizon.”
     “Dad might be orating on the state of brilliance in the USA,” added Bobbie Lhea, “but he still makes us have a budget lunch.  He took us to one of his favorite restaurants in downtown Oceanside, the Hawaiian Cafe.  They have a really delicious pulled pork lunch made Hawaiian style, along with sticky rice and macaroni salad.  It sure is good, and we all liked it very much, and it did stay within dad’s crazy 3-eat-for-$20 budget objective.”
     “It’s a Happy New Year to one and all,” added Sheila.  “We will be leaving for Texas in a few weeks, and already thinking of returning to Iowa to get the April 20-21-22 SpringFest ready.  We’re sure looking forward to a good time.”

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